PHL gov’t-MILF peace process has bearing on Sabah’s security, says Malaysian defense minister

By on March 21, 2016


Sabah, Malaysia (Photo courtesy of Malaysia Maps)
Sabah, Malaysia (Photo courtesy of Malaysia Maps)

BERA – The security situation in Sabah depends, in a way, on the success of the peace process between the Philippine government and Filipino secessionist group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said if the ceasefire is not maintained, there would potentially be conflict in the Sulu Sea, which might have an impact on Sabah’s security.

“In this regard, current developments in Sabah is contingent on the outcome of the Philippine presidential election 2016,” he told reporters after attending the wedding of Nashriq Ismail Sabri and Aiman Shaheerah Faeiz here Sunday.

Nashriq is the son of Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“Malaysia also has a major role in the process but we have decided to wait for the new President and then think about the future of Mindanao and Southern Philippines,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, the government would constantly ensure that the country, and in this instance, Sabah, is safe from every external threat.

Hishammuddin said the government had, ever since the 2013 intrusion in Lahad Datu by Sulu militants, implemented various security measures to reinforce the country’s defense system.

The measures included upgrading of the airport in Lahad Datu and providing armed helicopters for the security forces guarding the Eastern Sabah Security Zone.

He said a new battalion would also be created in the area soon.